Apple has been working on the Apple Watch’s heart-rate monitor ever since the wearable launched in April. First, it was taking your pulse every 10 minutes. Then, it was doing it every 10 minutes unless you were moving around because the company said that a resting heart rate is a better health indicator than a “doing whatever” heart rate.
And that’s correct, but a newly released patent hints at some future improvements for the function that could also spare you some wrist pain and warn you about stress.
The filing, courtesy of Patently Apple, details arrays on the underside of future, hypothetical Apple Watches containing 9 and 25 different input areas. Some of these measure “skin proximity and tilt effect,” which is a fancy way of saying that it knows where it is both in relation to your wrist and the ground.
This extra data could improve readings on the heart monitor, sure, but it could also add a couple of other benefits. For example, this Apple Watch could keep track of how often and to what extent your wrist is bending and give you a heads-up if it thinks you might be headed to some repeated-motion injuries like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome.
If you’re already receiving treatment for one of these conditions, it could store your movement data so that you could show it to your doctor at your next appointment so that they can track your progress and make sure you’re actually following their recommendations.
This tech could also have non-treatment applications if it actually ends up in future hardware. Because these sensors could even read and predict your hand positions (i.e. whether you’re making a fist, etc.), they might help make you a better bowler by analyzing your throws or track reps when you’re exercising.
And yes, it could also give you those more frequent and accurate pulse readings you’ve always wanted. But that other stuff is pretty cool, too.
Via: Patently Apple